Words have consequences
To the editor:
Running for president in 1988, George H.W. Bush adopted a mantra that resonated with voters: “Read my lips; no new taxes!” He repeated that cry at every rally. It was clever. It was effective. He won the election by a landslide.
The economy tanked during his first term in office, forcing Bush to sign off on a tax increase. Historians credit that tax increase with eventually providing the first budget surplus in decades.
Bush lost his bid for reelection.
On June 16, 2015, Donald Trump announced his candidacy: “I will build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively, I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
At virtually every rally, he would ask the cheering crowds, “Who’s going to pay for the wall?” In unison the crowds chanted: “Mexico!” Frequently he went so far as to say Mexico would write a check for five or ten billion dollars.
George H.W. Bush learned that words have meaning, what a person says has consequences.